At the moment there is a big question mark over the future prospects for business with many companies unsure what it holds.
This makes it a good time to establish precisely where the business’ strengths and vulnerabilities lie, hence our focus on housekeeping.
The topic for this blog is the allocation of marketing resources.
Businesses often make the mistake of cutting marketing budgets during hard times, when actually it is a time to consider doing the opposite. However, it makes sense to reposition the strategy and goals.
Plainly, it is always important for potential customers or clients to be aware of the brand and its reputation, whether this be for high quality, fast delivery and/or cost-effective prices for their services or products. Readers of my blog of a month ago will be aware that companies cannot promise all three.
Re-focus the marketing budget
However, until the trading picture becomes clearer this is not the time to plan for growth and increase the marketing budget with that goal in mind. When the tide is coming in is the time to spend on customer acquisition but it is a costly exercise and easy to waste money.
Instead, in the short term, marketing spend needs to be re-focused, towards retaining and reassuring customers. That does not mean that a business should not reflect on the markets it might pursue in the future and perhaps cost marketing campaigns tailored to that purpose.
But the primary focus should be on securing existing home and, if relevant, overseas markets so the marketing spending should be 100% focused on this, on the return on the investment and on improving efficiencies to stand out from competitors and to survive whatever is coming.
The prospects of a recession in the economy are relatively high, particularly where, as in the UK, so much depends on consumer spending. Consumers are likely to be cautious, especially on spending on big items, when it is unclear what will happen to their jobs, their food and energy bills and to the value of their homes.
At the moment, therefore, services, retailers, construction companies and small manufacturers are all particularly vulnerable, especially those who focus on B2C markets.
They need to send out a message through their marketing about the benefits of their product or service, but also to spend wisely on improving that quality, speeding up delivery or reducing prices wherever they can.
(image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)